Videomaker – Learn video production and editing, camera reviews › Forums › Technique › Editing › Buying new computer – Advice?
November 6, 2011 at 12:42 AM #47433
I have a $1300 budget and want to get the best I can get.
All I need is the desktop, I have the monitors, external sound card, etc.
I plan to use Sony Vegas Pro and Adobe Audition for my sound editor (I do a lot of audio recording). I have a feeling that for doing video I should have some additional PCIe card so I can connect external hard drives (eSATA?). Any thoughts on what I should use to get the fastest connection?
Also, I def. want at least 8GB’s of RAM (DDR3) and a few TB’s of hard drive space. But what other spec’s should I be looking for?
What Video cards are affordable, but excellent for today’s standards? I’ll be shooting commercials, interviews, maybe the occassional digital short, etc. I’m sick of my currrent rig bogging down during rendering and dragging in video files.
November 6, 2011 at 8:10 PM #195425vid-e-o-manParticipant
Shaun, I’ll give a few thoughts and then refer you to a thread on this forum. Get a fast hard drive 7200 rpm or solid state (mucho $$$). From what I have read, a real good video card will help use the capabilities of the new Sony Pro to their fullest for rendering and monitoring. Processorshould be in the i7range(various models should fit the bill), you can get by with lesser stuff (I am but will be switching to i7) butwhy limit yourself when spending serious money for a few hundred dollars. How this helps. The thread to look for on this forum is: Best Computer for Editing- under the heading of Compositing Software.
November 6, 2011 at 10:52 PM #195426
I’m concerned that even in the PC family, you might be bumping the top of your budget against the things you say you want to incorporate into an editing desktop.
Oh, you could, for example, go with the entry level iMac and work with the software that comes with it, and likely similar solutions with PC community, but I don’t know that SVPro, 8GB RAM, and a “few TBs of hard drive space” will fit into $1,300, including the computer, even if you DO have all the monitors you need and an external sound card.
November 7, 2011 at 1:51 AM #195427
Build it yourself and save a bundle – I put together (still not totally done) a Core i7-2600K w/16GBRAM, twin 3TB 7200 sATA 6g drives, EVGA GE430 video, ASUS p8P67pro MB, 750 WATT power supply for around your budget.
November 7, 2011 at 2:50 AM #195428
Bruce, PLEASE, when you’re done and have a total figure send me complete instructions and tell me where to get the components! Seriously, I’ve always wanted to play around with SONY Vegas, so if I could build a system like yours for $1,300 I’d be inclined to do it so I could explore Vegas. THAT would be a white paper worth having!
November 7, 2011 at 11:52 AM #195429
Hi Earl –
Most parts were purchased from CompUSA local store – I waited for sales and made several trips – Got the MONSTER Thermaltake case for $129, processor for $299, memory for $120, power supply for $79, motherboard for $189, hard drives for $169 each, EVGA GT430 for $74, $10 for inexpensive speakers (I use good headphones when editing) – without os or other software came to around $1300 with tax.
Already had a nice ASUS24″ 1080p monitor, lots of software & other peripherals (2tb SATA 3g HD, BluRay burner, DVD burner, etc…).
Add in $140 for Win 7 64 bit Pro and the same for my Vegas upgrade and am still under $2k for the whole shootin’ match.
The best decisions were 1) the case – got the Thermaltake Chaser MK-I Full Tower gaming case – very roomy, lots of fans, amazing features like a built in hot swappable SATA HD cradle, front & back USB 3, very easy assembly; 2) the motherboard -The ASUS P8P67pro is amazing and has everything you’ll need – 1394, USB2 & 3, eSATA, decent sound, etc… – plus it’s ready for the really high end video cards if you wanna go that route.
November 7, 2011 at 12:29 PM #195430
November 7, 2011 at 3:24 PM #195431
Hi Charles –
TigerDirect & CompUSA are the same company – Only CompUSA has brick & mortar so you can talk to real people and ask questions as well as bring home the goods same day.
I usually go to NewEgg.com for online purchases.
And as Charles said, you might b able to find specific pieces a couple of bucks cheaper but these were pretty good prices to begin with.
November 7, 2011 at 8:57 PM #195432
This is excellent! Thanks so much! I’m going to look at some of those components Bruce!
I just found out I got the video editing job I was going for at my organization based on this (my 1st ever) attempt at shooting and editing a video.
Please note it was concieved, filmed and editing in a day and a half.. (this is with a newborn and full time job happening at the same time 😉
So I’m moving fast to buy a real camcorder (this was shot with my T1i DSLR) and a computer.. really enjoy working wtih video. 🙂
November 9, 2011 at 5:22 AM #195433composite1Member
It’d be cheaper to buy a pre-built than do a build. He’s still going to need money for software, Vegas is around $600 and Audition is $350 separate. So, he’d need to find a desktop or laptop that had enough gas to push Vegas in HD for less than $600 (don’t forget shipping fees and or taxes.) If he were an experienced builder it could be done (it’d be a stretch!) Otherwise, I say just get a pre-built. Just be clear on the spec requirements to make sure the computer had the minimums.
November 9, 2011 at 12:41 PM #195434
If you’re gonna stay with very common elements, then yes, a pre-built is most probably cheaper. However, when you go into high end or cutting edge processors & peripherals, then you can not so often even find pre-built’s with these things, let alone for cheap prices.
For ~$1300 I have a Core i7-2600K @3.4ghz (newest when I bought it); 16GB RAM; KILLER motherboard (ASUS P8P67pro) – On board SATA 6G x2, 3G X 6; 1394, USB 2 (lots), USB 3 X 4, eSata X 2, audio, PCIeX16 X 3, PCIeX2 X 2, PCI X 3, so much more; 750 Watt modular power supply (only as many cables as I need); KILLER case (Thermaltake Chaser MK-1 Full Tower) with three internal fans, huge amounts of air flow, filters 6 internal drive bays, 4 external drive bays, hot swappable SATA dock, front & back USB 2, USB 3, eSATA; EVGA GeForce GT430 vid card (96 Cuda cores + 1GB DDR3 RAM – makes Vegas work very nicely); twin 3TB 7200 RPM SATA 6G HD’s; no overclocking but hyperthreading turned on.
Bottom line is I got something better than Alienware or BOXX even offers for far less than their closest candidates. Yes, I did have to work a bit (still adding pieces) but I anticipate using this box for seven – ten years (life of the pc it’s replacing).
I still have yet to do full comparisons but a 12 hour render (single pass) of an 87 minute SD piece on my old box (Pentium IV @ 2.6ghz w/3GB RAM, generic vid card w/256MB RAM, Win XP Pro 32 bit, Vegas Pro) now takes about 64 minutes!
November 9, 2011 at 11:15 PM #195435pseudosafariMember
Plus, building your own is fun and when you start turning stuff out with it, it’s that much sweeter.
November 10, 2011 at 1:34 AM #195436
I have a friend building it, though I could, but no time with the new born. Birdcat, my build will be very similar but with a 1000w powersupply, an antec case, and good 2GB video card, though I’m forgetting the model #, and a SSD for the OS… i’m psyched. 🙂
November 10, 2011 at 4:14 AM #195437
i buy it all from newegg.com. imo, by far the best source for components.
that’s how i built my own, though i’m getting ready to upgrade my mb/cpu combo as i get more into vegas pro 11.
the advantage of a build yourself is the ability to upgrade, if you need/want to.
i was in the computer business for a few years, and i built hundreds of computers, so it’s nothing i’d even think about. it just takes an hour to do it, and you should have your o.s. up and kicking.
November 10, 2011 at 1:51 PM #195438
if i were buying a new box, this is where i’d start:
then i’d buy a nice monitor, a $150 video card and i’d buy windows 7 off of ebay.
you’ll also need a smattering of other components like a cd rom, mouse, etc but you’d come in around your target and have a great box that would be easy to upgrade, lots of space, etc.
i’ve fallen in love with my 3 viewsonic 27 inch monitors, and i’ve got most of my money (actually a shameful amount) in the things i see/touch vs what’s under the hood of my box. i’m currently running a 3.2 ghz intel dual core with 8 gig of ram and windows ultimate in 32 bit mode (64 bit mode gave me too many software headaches for the difference i could see – which wasn’t much, and i don’t think that 32 bit uses more than 4 gig of memory anyway). of course, all of this could change when i start heavy video editing .. so i’m thinking mb/cpu/16 gig/64 bit windows upgrade.
the technology is never stable in the sense that anything you do will be obsoleted the second you get it.
it’s only money :).
November 10, 2011 at 7:35 PM #195439210peParticipant
Don’t just but a bigger power supply just because. Some of the newer processors use less power. Add up everything you need and buy the smallest output needed – unless you just like big power bills. A 1000W power supply when pumping out full is like 10 – 100Watt light bulbs and that gets expensive. Even my server only has a 450W power supply and it has 5 hard drives in it.
November 11, 2011 at 1:45 AM #195440
it’s to power the larger pro level vid card I’m getting, and for the fact that I’ll be leaving the computer to run renders for 3-4 hours at times… When we added things up it came out that a 750w would work, but we decided on the 1000w to be sure.. plus it has a ‘power down’ option, it doesn’t pull/push full wattage all the time at all… only when the computer needs it.
November 11, 2011 at 4:06 PM #195441videoworksjhMember
Shaun, I would recommend having a tower built to your specifications. I used fry electronics and they’ve done a great job and was very knowledgeable as to what I needed. For around $1500. I had a tower built with a Intel I=7 quad core processor. With one 10,000 RPM C drive and two 1-tb 7400 drives. With eight gigs of RAM. When you get ready to upgrade your software. I would recommend Adobe’s premiere Pro 5.5 suite. There is nothing worse then to always have to be waiting on your machine to catch up. Good luck
November 11, 2011 at 4:29 PM #195442
cool i didn’t know they cusom built.. couldn’t see how to do it on their site…
November 11, 2011 at 7:49 PM #195443harlockrParticipant
Birdcat pretty much resume most of the good components, except that I would spend $450 for a video card (Nvidia with Cuda technology), instead of less than $100. It does make a huge difference in Premier. I know he said he will use Vegas, but why not use real time effects? And reduce your rendering times if you are going to spend money anyway.
November 12, 2011 at 12:28 AM #195444
Yea, this is what I’m getting: http://www.pcper.com/reviews/Graphics-Cards/EVGA-GeForce-GTX-560-Ti-2Win-2GB-Dual-GPU-Graphics-Card-Review/Conclusions-an
November 12, 2011 at 3:41 AM #195445cfxcorpParticipant
I am posting this just to test the Polar Bear in a Snowstorm theory. Using Google Chrome this time instead of IE9.
November 12, 2011 at 3:48 AM #195446cfxcorpParticipant
I am posting this just to test the Polar Bear in a Snowstorm theory. IE 9 this time.
Note: if I try to cursor to part of the entry to edit it, the box freezes. I can still navigate the web page, though. To be able to continue editing in the reply box, I have to right-click in the box and select Undo which returns the blinking cursor. Interesting, too, that I cannot left-click on the text and place my cursor, only the keyboard cursor keys work.
November 12, 2011 at 2:21 PM #195447
I thought of spending more on a higher end card, but the GT430 has 96 Cuda cores and I won’t see drastic differences (like 10x as fast) with more core models. I am finding the GE430 more than sufficient as my 12 hour render went to 64 minutes using the new box.
November 12, 2011 at 9:33 PM #195448
birdcat, i’m curious as to how much more you’d pick up with a solid state drive. you can get 128 gb for $209.00 at newegg. i’d bet that would be the best bang for the buck.. if it’s worth anything at all to go faster. are you running windows 7 64 gb?
November 12, 2011 at 10:10 PM #195449
Until I can get a SSD over 1TB for < $300, it’s not worth my time or effort. My C:/ is a 3TB 7200RPM SATA 6G drive and it is great. I boot in < 60 seconds and am ready < 30 seconds after login. Thats Win 7 Pro 64bit with lots of stuff loading.
November 12, 2011 at 10:58 PM #195450
i too boot under 50 seconds, and i’m running quite a bit of software as well. loading win 7 ultimate 32 bit. i’m ready about 15 seconds after login (just tested it). which is why i’m thinking that i’ll wait until i have some obvious need to upgrade. i would like to toy with a solid state drive though, and if the 120mb drives go down much more, i’m probably going to bite. the reviews on those are very solid as far as seriously speeding up the system. as a practical matter, i think the bottleneck is the hard drive. on newegg.com, people rave about instant boots/starts with those drives.
November 13, 2011 at 4:00 AM #195451
At my age, waiting one minute and 30 seconds to start doing something on my computer isn’t going to cramp my style. I have to chuckle sometimes when I read descriptive terms for ads about this, that or the other computer element or component or CPU, calling it “blazingly fast” and there’s no discernible (to me) difference in what I already get or do with my system. Also, benchmarks and clocked speeds and all that, hell, I’d rather get to work than spend my time trying to figure out if my system is slower than everybody else’s, or faster. When it drags its butt I know something isn’t doing right, but when it’s operating, I really couldn’t care less if it’s a second off. Render times, yeah, like Bruce, I want something that will do a project for me in the hour or less zone, and not all night like I used to experience with my Amiga Toaster Flyer. I do have to say, however, the power of that system and what I could do with the software from NewTek was often well worth the wait.
November 13, 2011 at 8:44 PM #195452
earl, that makes perfect sense :). only if you’re doing something over and over and it’s slowing you down in a real sense is it worth shelling out the $$. otherwise, the longer you wait, the more you get for your money. after all this discussion i’m going to wait before i spend another dime on computer parts. :).
November 15, 2011 at 7:45 PM #195453
Birdcat, I’m taking your advice and getting 2 more affordable video cards, after looking into it further it does seem that I’ll save some coin and I’m not gaining any real speed with the card I had, the only reason I was going with that was to save space on my mother board (and only have 1 card), but for a $150 savings and minimal to no speed benefit, it doesn’t make sense.
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